EDITORIAL: Mapping a changed world, and finding new ways to thrive
by Herman Manson (@MarkLives) I know economic, political and social challenges to the status quo comes and goes, often leaving limited change in its wake, but this year certainly feels… transformative.
The global halt to trade caused by covid-19 is forcing a rethink on a globalised model of production and manufacturing. Alongside economic carnage, we also face political and social disruption; the ever-wider dissonance between economic and political systems that entrenched systemic racism and sexism — and the expectations of citizens — has become unsustainable.
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Change is hardly ever comfortable. Even when inevitable, we insist on holding onto models and ways we are familiar with and have grown comfortable with. But we’ve gone past the luxury of holding onto the known.
Change, and the disruption that goes with it, is forcing all of us — including the marketing and advertising industries — to engage with and embark upon a project of substantive transformation as the only viable path out of terminal decline. Most of us know this already.
Mapping a route
So what do we do about it? How do we map a route through and past the carnage around us that will allow us to survive and ultimately thrive?
With the support of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and research, insights and learning company HumanInsight, MarkLives is setting out to explore how brands and marketers started on that path to transforming through innovation and learning, and embracing structural reform that is, in turn, positively affecting and addressing issues around diversity, inclusion and changed leadership structures.
Over the course of the next three months, in #Transformers we’ll explore how people and businesses have adapted their playbooks for a changed world — and become transformers in their own right. We’ll find what transformating their organisations meant to them, highlight the challenges and opportunities, and offer key learnings from their journeys that might be applicable to your own.
What #Transformers will cover
Research on transformation already offered by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte clearly shows transformation brings better resilience and competitive advantage. With this given, expect the series to cover innovation; the empowering of people to be innovators themselves; collaboration; the importance of cross-functional teams inside organisations; agility and governance (and how they can positively feed into and support one another); and an embrace of the opportunities offered by digital and culture change.
This project in itself is the result of an acknowledgement that survival depends on broader collaboration, greater purpose and the need for substance — all key pillars of transformation. It’s a road to relevance, and one all the partner organisations on this project look forward to travelling alongside the marketing and advertising industry.
Appreciation to Clay Banks for the use of his image via Unsplash.
“Transformers Transform 2020” is a special series produced by MarkLives and HumanInsight and sponsored by the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA), running Jun–Sep 2020. Our objective is to explore and map new paths for brands and marketers to transform, adapt and build resilience while the world adapts to covid-19 and its resultant social, political and economic toll. This is an independently managed, journalism-driven research project.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.